Now in its fourth year of existence, the Jiu-Jitsu club was founded by former SSU student Joe Pycz, and continues to offer opportunities for people to gain martial arts knowledge, practice and competition. In the words of current president and member Daniel Settlemeyer, the club is “mostly about fun, about learning the sport and becoming better at ground fighting and self-defense.”
For those unfamiliar, Jiu-Jitsu is a ground-based martial art that focuses on submissions. It is non-striking, contains no weapons and is about getting into position for fighting on the ground.
The club’s practices, which are more like training sessions, are held in the Fieldhouse, which is a separate court attached to the main gym. Each week sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. Members can expect these sessions to have everything from warming up and jogging to one on one contesting with pushups, sit-ups, core exercise and technique practice in between. On top of the regularly schedule meetings, members are welcome to get outside work in at Esteem, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in Petaluma.
As for tournaments, the club has nothing formally scheduled as of now but they are always looking to compete with clubs and schools in California. Just last year, the team competed against CSU Northridge, Santa Barbara, Humboldt State, and even rival Chico State in a tournament that they hosted at the Fieldhouse. With their eyes on planning more events, it’s possible that members will be able to travel to events during weekends throughout the school year.
According to Settlemeyer, a couple of the past presidents, such as founder Joe Pycz, have come away from competitions with gold and silver medals in the last few years.
Settlemeyer feels that people can achieve a lot through being a member of the club beyond achievement through competition. Since joining, he has made close relationships and he’s able to workout and hangout at the same time.
“It’s a really good way to blow off some steam as well,” said Settlemeyer.
The club is always open to new members. It’s a come as you please and drop in deal. No experience is necessary and the only requirement is showing up in regular gym clothes and athletic gear. Although, because of the physical nature of the martial art, compression shorts, polyester and rash guards are recommended.
“Anyone can find something they like about it, everyone has a place here and it’s a great environment. We’re all here to have some fun, meet people, and learn about self-defense,” said Settlemeyer.
For anyone looking to get in shape, this club is recommended because of the amount of cardio and body weight exercise that takes place in the sport.
Anybody interested in learning more about being in the club should stop in for a practice or contact president Daniel Settlemeyer. Both the club and Daniel are available through Facebook. Flyers with Daniel’s contact info are also located throughout campus.